Archive for October, 2011

7 More Years of Kronwalling

Hollis has the details and a discussion of at least a partial righting of the world that was turned upside down with the Ericsson contract (a complete one would have been not re-signing him, but whatever).

Great to see Nik locked up. He’s going to be a huge part of this team going forward.

Wings 0, Wild 1

Briefly:

Flat, Again: The Wings are in a rut and not doing a lot to get themselves out. They came out flat and stayed that way for the majority of the game. They had a better showing in third, but only relative to whatever they showed in the first and second.

Harding: Played very well. Part of that was likely the Wings’ usual tendency to make apparently average goalies look like Vezina candidates. The rest was Harding. Still: not an excuse to fail to score even once on him.

Jimmy: Did very well for himself at the other end, but got beaten by the kind of great shot no Wing unleashed on Harding all night. Not his fault.

Top Line: Had their moments, as should be expected. But not enough.

Everybody Else: Invisible and ineffective.

I don’t know what else to say. It’s still early in the season. But this 10-game segment has turned into a slow nightmare. They’ve got a chance to get points 11 and 12 Tuesday against the Wild again and they need to take advantage. At this point, it’s becoming bigger than the fact that it’s early in the season. They need to pull out of this and soon.

Brunnstrom Waived

Update (5:24 PM): Through Chuck Pleiness, Ken Holland pretty much confirms Clark’s take. – Matt

So says Bob McKenzie.

It’s a little surprising that the Wings are doing this so long before Mursak’s return, but as Clark Rasmussen pointed out, it could be about getting the Griffins some help up front. Or, it could be about bring Smith the other way so he can serve the rest of his suspension, since Commodore’s active and occupying a roster spot. I highly doubt it’s about anyone else coming up, though.

There’s also the slight possibility that the Wings are doing what they used to do with Aaron Downey: waive him and then keep him around for 10 games or 30 days, per the CBA, so they have immediate flexibility to make a call-up if necessary.

But I think Clark’s right. Bob Duff’s tweet here is about a random NHL scout, but if an outsider’s saying that, it seems like the Wings could be thinking it too.

Wings 2, Sharks 4

Update (1:17 PM): Looks like it’s Jimmy tonight rather than Conklin. Interesting. – Matt

Kernel of Concern: Okay, so it’s only 8 games in. But a three-game losing streak’s still cause for a bit of concern. Losing to the Capitals sucked, but bad losses happen in isolation all the time. Losing to the Jackets was a bad sign, but given the Jackets’ motivation for that game, it wasn’t necessarily the end of the world. Losing to the Sharks, though, bugs me. The Wings should have been at their consistent best, playing through the full game at top level. Maybe the Sharks are good enough that it still would have resulted in a loss. Maybe not. But at least it would have been a sign that the guys are where they should be, even this early in the season.

Instead, we got a team that was fairly owned early. To their credit, they killed off a penalty and took command of much of the rest of the first period. But it didn’t last. The second period was mostly Sharks, and though the Wings were more assertive in the third, they didn’t rise to the level of their first period peak. The consistency issues that have been characteristic of the Wings the past couple years are still there, even with new voices on the bench. Frustrating.

Jimmy: Came to play. He looked very sharp, though like JJ said, it would have been nice if he could have been just a little sharper. Not to put the blame on him for anything in particular, of course. He did a great job for a guy who can’t have had a ton of sleep this week.

White: I’ve been really impressed with White so far, but he had a couple rough plays that led directly to goals. He got beat by Marleau for the Sharks’ second and then didn’t register that he was the last man back, which led to Thorton having half the rink to himself and Jimmy for the Sharks’ third. He’ll bounce back.

Ericsson: Hasn’t been as noticeably terrible as usual, but his contact with Thornton on the Clowe goal wasn’t cool. That’s two slew foots in two games by Wings. I hope it’s not becoming a pattern.

Waived Off Goal: One of the more disappointing elements of this game was the waived off goal and the Wings’ apparent reaction to it. First, the call was total BS. Holmstrom’s falling near Niemi did nothing to interfere with Niemi’s ability to stop the puck. Holmstrom putting puck out of Niemi’s reach did that. If the ref wants to blow away a goal, he should have the guts to hand out a penalty. I truly despise that rule. The NHL can’t be in the business of wiping away goals on a play like that for less than a penalty.

The Wings’ usual reaction to these things is to be a bit deflated. Maybe that’s natural. But it’s annoying. They reacted even more negatively to the Clowe goal in the second, but the Holmstrom waive-off got them started in the first.

Eurotwins+Newfie: The first line was very good throughout the game, especially in the first. More of that please.

Fil-Franzen-Hudler: These guys did next to nothing. I didn’t notice Franzen at all until the third period. They had a couple shifts later in the game that were nice, but it was too little, too late.

Bert-Helm-Eaves: Mostly quiet.

Miller-Abdelkader-Holmstrom: Maybe the second best line in terms of offensive presence. Created a number of opportunities for themselves.

Tonight: The Wings face off against the 3-3-3 Wild in Minnesota. Should be a great opportunity to pull out of this skid, even with Conklin (presumably) starting.

No Preview Today

Work crazy has flared up again, so I have no time for anything other than this dashed off post. Sorry. Believe me, this is not how I want it.

I hope to be able to catch the game, so I should have thoughts on it tomorrow.